Print New Yavapai-Apache homes eliminate income restrictions
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Monday, 14 November 2011 00:00

The Yavapai-Apache Nation works to provide a roof over tribal members’ heads when it can, through the Nation’s housing department.

The problem is that under existing guidelines, not everyone qualifies to be placed in a home on the reservation.

“They either make too much to qualify under our housing program, or they make too little to afford a mortgage on a house of their own,” said Fran Chavez, public relations director for the Nation.

Yavapai-Apache Tribal Housing Executive Director Rick Preston describes Thursday, Nov. 3, the handicapped-accessible features of some newly constructed housing units located across from the tribal administration complex. More than 200 families are currently on the Nation’s waiting list for housing.That changed a bit last week as the Nation unveiled a cluster of newly built homes, including several duplexes and one single-family home.

The new dwellings, located across from the Nation’s administration building on the newly named Beauty Circle, are the finished product of an ambitious $1.6 million program started under the administration of former Tribal Chairman Thomas Beauty.

“It was a Yavapai-Apache Nation-funded project,” said Lorna Hazelwood, sitting outside the new single-family home Thursday, Nov. 3. Hazelwood was there with the rest of her crew who did the physical work to build the homes.

The workers were among several people in attendance as the Nation let people tour the new buildings during a special open house.

The new house and duplexes all have about 1,850 square feet of livable space along with attached garages, Hazelwood said.

The space also includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms in each new building.

While people were allowed to tour the homes last week, they’re unlikely to stay empty for long.

According to the nation’s housing department, once people apply to move in, the review and acceptance process can take anywhere from just one to four months.

The housing department will still maintain these new homes under its policies, Chavez said. The only difference is that these particular homes don’t come with any income requirements or restrictions.

Once a family contacts the housing department, Chavez said the applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

This is just the latest in the Nation’s efforts to expand available housing for tribal members.

Late last year, the Nation was awarded $717,908 in low-income housing tax credits from the Arizona Department of Housing to help pay for the construction of 36 homes in the Tunlii subdivision, located just west of the Verde River near the Middle Verde Reservation.

The dollar-for-dollar credits will be passed on to private corporations or other private entities for use over the next several years in exchange for an investment in the housing project. These tax credits reportedly should bring in around $4.6 million for the Tunlii project.

The Nation has used this program to construct around 100 homes over the years, according to the housing department.